Sunday, September 6, 2009

My first hires download

In life there is always a first time for anything.
I have just downloaded a hires album for the first time. I had surfed to the Linn Records website http://www.linnrecords.com/ and browsed around and found Handel's Messiah by Dunedin Consort which "recreates the freshness, excitement and spontaneity of the work's first public performance in 1742 and unlike the 30 singers used in some later performances, this version features only 12 of whom 7 are soloists, all performing in the choruses."
I have always liked Messiah and suddenly I had the itch to attempt a download for the first time. Linn Records offers several formats - MP3, CD-quality WMA and FLAC (16bit 44.1 kHz) and Studio Master-quality FLAC and WMA files (24bit 88.2 kHz). You can also buy the CD or the LP in 180-gm vinyl and you can play samples of the songs in all the formats before making the decison to buy.
I thought I might as well go all the way and downloaded the 24bit 88.2kHz FLAC Studio Master copy which cost US$24.
I clicked the download button at 2.45pm and the downloading started and continued and continued....(bear in mind I am using Streamyx at 1 Mbps)
Along the way my wife sent some e-mails and spoke to her cousin in Zurich via Skype which must have made the downloading somewhat slower.
At 2.45am when I went off to sleep, it was still downloading.
At 4.45am, my youngest son entered my room and happily climbed onto the bed and slept in the space between my wife and I (most Asian parents would know all about this...) and woke me up.
I decided to check the computer and it stated: "Download complete."
Thus it took between 12 and 14 hours for the entire 2,503.6 Mb music file plus album art to be downloaded.
Was it worth it? Even with the Altec Lansing computer speakers, the songs sound really great. Now my problem is trying to figure out a way to play it on the big rig...

3 comments:

  1. hi Lam - have you played back thru your main rig? how does it sound?
    Thanks
    DS

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  2. You asked how to play through your main rig well this is one way:
    http://www.belcantodesign.com/Belcanto_news_usb_link.html
    This connects to your computer via USB and the other end to your DAC.

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  3. ds, what i have done is to burn the hi-res tracks into a cd-r using media monkey and the sound quality is still great despite being compressed to 16-bit 44.1kHz.
    tx

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